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bitchy | Why Mindy Kaling works out: ‘I need to live a long time because I’m a single mom’


Mindy Kaling gave a completely charming interview to Byrdie to promote a new sponsorship. Personally, I love that Kaling consistently looks to get involved with corporate sponsorships and partnerships. I find it cool that businesses want to get in business with Mindy Kaling. Propel Water went to Kaling and asked her to become the spokesperson for their Joy of Working Out campaign. She’s a great spokesperson for that kind of thing, as evidenced by this interview. Mindy talks about how she actually loves to work out and try different things, even if she knows she’s never going to really look ripped. The point is the “joy” of it, the therapy of it, the mental and physical health of it. Some highlights:

Why she’s doing this campaign: “I was so thrilled and surprised when Propel wanted to work with me. I love working out, but I think that is a surprise to people because I look like the average American woman. Many people like me are largely left out of the narrative of people who work out because I don’t look like a personal trainer. But I work out four or five times a week, and it’s like my replacement for therapy. I find it completely joyous.

Fitness isn’t about how you look: “I used to look at fitness as, like, It’s not successful unless you look a certain way at the end of it, and I’m never going to look a certain way. I used to think there was no point if I wasn’t running for 45 minutes five times a week and then doing an hour of lifting. But, the point is that I feel so much better mentally if I’m in better cardiovascular health. I think a lot of it was helped by the fact that I had kids. Working out means I can avoid things like diabetes, hypertension, and other things I am at high risk for. Now that I have kids, it isn’t just about looking hot because I’m an actress. I need to live a long time because I’m a single mom. Now I’m like, Okay, there’s different levels of fitness, It’s not something profound, but it was something that I needed to learn. I honestly used to be embarrassed to say, “Yeah, I work out four or five times a week,” because I didn’t look the way some people thought I should. But working out makes me feel joyous, centered, and focused.

What workouts work for her: “I’m that person who loves trendy things. I had a friend who was like, “Let’s do Pilates on a reformer machine.” I did it, and it was so hard, but I loved it. I did a class where I was on a plate that shook, and you would do strength exercises on the plate. I’m just into trends. I love going to new fitness studios and seeing how they set up their lockers. I love seeing people in their workout gear. I love the culture of working out.”

Her morning routine: “The first thing I do is drink an enormous amount of water with lemon against my will. I never feel like doing it, but I don’t drink coffee, so the water wakes me up. Then I put sunscreen on my face and hang out with my daughter before taking her to school. When I come back, I work out. I feel like you have to earn your shower, so I have to bring my kid to school, come home, and work out. Then, I’m like, Oh, I earned my shower.

Writing shows about young women: “I feel so lucky that I get to write shows about young women. Every day, I am struck by how brave and authentic the young women I’m working with are. I was kind of repressed and not comfortable in my skin when I was their age. They are courageous activists and not ashamed of being that way. They love their bodies, and they’re still quirky. Writing for young women keeps me young. People underestimate young people a lot, and I’ve learned so much by doing research for all these shows. It’s a blessing.”

[From Byrdie]

Wow, she makes great points. I’m also don’t look like someone who is active and enjoys working out, but I am that person. I love long walks and hikes. I walk four-to-five miles six days a week. I lift weights (sometimes). But I don’t look like it, and at this point in my life, I’m not doing it so that I’ll fit into a certain size or whatever. It is about just wanting to feel good, and wanting to get outside or zone out on a treadmill. The only thing I don’t like about Mindy’s answers is… “earn my shower.” WTF? I can’t just go for hours in the morning without taking a shower. I don’t have to “earn” it. I shower to start my day.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.


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